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Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Thursday, 9 September 2010 18:15 UK

Daryl Murphy and Anthony Stokes eye Celtic partnership


Stokes keen to make Celtic debut

Irish duo Daryl Murphy and Anthony Stokes believe they can form a potent striking partnership for Celtic.

"I know him (Stokes) from Sunderland and I think he will be a very good signing," said Murphy.

"We've always done quite well together. He's proven in this league and he will definitely score goals."

Repaying the compliment, Stokes added: "He's bit more of a target man, more physical than I am and I think we could do well."

Stokes was bought from Hibernian on the final day of the transfer window, while Murphy moved to Glasgow from Sunderland in mid-July.

Prior to his move to Easter Road, where he was top scorer with 23 goals last season, Stokes had spent a frustrating time with the Black Cats.

Looking forward to his career at Celtic Park and the chance of playing alongside his former team-mate, Stokes explained: "We have an understanding because we trained together at Sunderland for two years and played a lot of games together.

"We have a fair idea of what runs we are going to make and bits and pieces like that."

Murphy scored his first Celtic goal from the penalty spot in the 1-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park before the international break.

And he and Stokes are hoping to feature in Saturday's home game against Hearts.

"The goal has come at a good time for me as the club have signed a new striker," said Murphy.

Murphy ready to fight for place

"You are going to have to fight for your place. I had to wait for my chance and hopefully I have done enough to start on Saturday."

Murphy and Stokes are two of the 11 new faces brought to the club by manager Neil Lennon this summer.

However, the new-like side had crashed out of Europe before Stokes signed up, while Rangers will kick off their Champions League campaign at Old Trafford next week.

Murphy is jealous and believes watching their Old Firm rivals in their first Group C fixture will spur Celtic on to grab back the title - and the one Champions League place up for grabs next season.

But the Republic of Ireland international does not subscribe to the theory that the extra demands made on Rangers in Europe will give Celtic the edge in the domestic title race.

"I don't buy into that at all," he said.

"The way I see it, the more games they play against bigger and better opposition - if they do well - gives them more confidence.

"So I'm sure not any team will be crying about playing in Europe and having more games.

"We are all obviously disappointed to be knocked out both European competitions.

"You want to be there. You want to be lifting the title at the end of the season and playing in the Champions League."

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see also
Stokes completes switch to Celtic
31 Aug 10 |  Celtic
Black Cats' Murphy joins Celtic
16 Jul 10 |  Celtic

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